US Investigates 3 Groups Linked to Abduction Of Its Citizens in Iraq

Spokeperson for the US State Department John Kirby.
Spokeperson for the US State Department John Kirby.

Washington, 13 Rabi’ul Akhir 1437/23 January 2016 (MINA) – US intelligence agencies are investigating the abduction of three American citizens in Iraq, focusing on three groups linked to Iran, government sources revealed yesterday.

Reuters quoted the sources saying the groups being investigated are Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous), Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades) and the Badr Organisation.

Iraqi Minister of Defence Khaled Al-Obeidi said that the three Americans were abducted by “an organised gang that carries out abductions and blackmail”. Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Middle East Monitor (MEMO).

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said at an earlier time yesterday that the three Americans “were only missing” and that he strongly doubted Iran had any involvement in the matter.

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However, Al-Obeidi explained: “Our investigation into the matter suggests that an organised gang monitored their movements to a specific area, and I believe this area is suspicious, and they took them from this area. We cannot determine whether the gangs are Sunni or Shia, but they are gangs that specialise in abductions and blackmail.”

Spokesperson for the US State Department, John Kirby, said on Monday, “We received reports about three American citizens missing in Iraq. We are working in complete coordination and cooperation with the Iraqi authorities to locate and return them.”

(T/P002/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)